28 May 2010

Corresponding Cars (Repeat)

The only available space on the supermarket car park was between two of those monstrous vehicles which have all but taken over the country's highways. Cursing my bad luck I maneuvered the old Ford between them and climbed out. I had already toured the parking lot in search of the Audi but there was no sign of it. Yet again I was first to arrive.

Initially, months ago, I was thrilled to see the stylish red automobile in the adjoining space. I studied its gleaming contour and gazed with admiration at the luxurious interior, red leather seats and polished wood dash. But as the weeks passed I found it unnerving and silently petitioned him to park elsewhere. Notice I said him. To my mind it had to be a man driving such a car, a white shirted, pin-striped executive. It was stupid, I know, but I felt pursued. I got to wondering if I was being deliberately hounded; not too difficult a task since my car was easily identifiable ... there weren't too many white Fiestas sporting Micky Mouse logos on the doors.

For weeks I wandered the supermarket aisles scrutinizing male countenances, searching for an indication of acquaintance and pivoting with a reproving retort on my lips each time I was accidentally nudged. When nothing dramatic occurred I began weaving fantasies about the Audi driver, dismissing the stalker theory and conjuring up an image of a tall, lean individual with eyes like the deepening twilight, sun-browned skin, and silky black hair. He would carry the Telegraph and a multicoloured golfing umbrella - the latter, together with his car, being the only colours he allowed himself to display. To my inventive mind the sombreness of his attire was the cause of his obsession with the cartoon character on my dilapidated car.

Then one drizzly Friday he parked across the yellow dividing line, monopolising half my area as well as his own. I was so cross I pushed a note in his wipers informing him that another half-an-inch would have resulted in a fusing of paintwork and suggesting that he watch it in future. The following Friday his reply was impaled on my aerial, a torn-out diary page fluttering like an official ensign. The message, written in black in a distinctive style characteristic of a professional man, implied that I should be grateful he maintained a hairs-breadth distance, adding that a life can be saved by half-an-inch. I screwed the note into a ball and tossed it into the hawthorn hedge, thinking what an obnoxious creature he was.

After a profusion of memoranda ... ranging between caustic and cryptic, then becoming kind of matey and at times romantic ... we met. Needless to say the encounter was unplanned. Armed with acquisitions from the in-store bakery and the wines and spirits section, he arrived at his car while I was affixing my latest missive. He was exactly as I imagined, except the eyes smiled more and his mouth was more sensual.

Without a word he took the paper and scanned the message I had composed, though for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was. My brain was paralysed by his closeness and the dallying smile on his delectable mouth. I had a vague impression of using nouns like privacy and tryst but seeing that his cheerful grin remained intact I guessed I was mistaken. If I had considered the meeting earlier I would have expected to feel embarrassed … I would not have anticipated the electrifying excitement coursing through my veins.

'We obviously think alike,' he said. 'I wanted to ask, but hadn't sufficient nerve.'

Only then did I recall my boldly written words, inviting him to stop hiding behind respectability and arrange a secluded assignation. I had felt safe being brazen with only an inanimate motorcar as witness. Indeed, leaving the saucy proposition had seemed a huge joke. I never dreamed the Audi owner and I might actually come together.


Parked between a Mitsubishi and a Land-Cruiser, I climbed out and locked the car door, pausing to sweep a bunch of leaves from the bonnet. Autumn was not my favourite season. I appreciated its pulchritude but not the soggy mess beneath my feet on rainy days. So much had happened since that incredible day I hardly noticed the weather change. Not surprising when you consider my perpetually dazed state.

With memories of theatre visits, pub lunches and candlelit dinners occupying my mind I headed for the tree-lined walkway where the shopping trolleys were moored. Knowing the Audi would be there when I returned I practically skipped past the Rowans with their juicy clusters of red berries. The church clock began to chime, its heavy brass fingers glistening in the early autumn sun. Nine o'clock and all's well. Seizing an abandoned trolley I hurried towards the revolving door, anxious to get in and get out in record time.

Fifty minutes later I loaded my purchases in the boot of my car. The Mitsubishi had gone and the Audi was in its place. I sniffed the air, relishing the smell of baking bread, taking my time, savouring the moment before detaching the week-to-view diary page from the aerial. December '09. Saturday 12 was ringed in black. Nervously I read the inscription. An acceptable date for a wedding, don't you think? Say yes - make my Christmas complete.

I was stunned, yet exhilarated. Neurotic butterflies flew around my gut. My normally sound judgment deserted me, leaving me mentally incoherent and flushing like an adolescent. As if they had developed minds of their own my fingers began the frantic search for my diary. Unnecessarily. I knew I had nothing on in December. Absolutely nothing at all. Would the coppery leaves still be around, I wondered, tuning in to a vision of antique cream bridal wear wading through crisp amber leaves on the arm of the most handsome man in town. At last my fingers closed on the diary and I riffled the pages until I reached December. There was one entry for that day, a hair appointment at ten.

On cue the church clock struck the hour as if to confirm the time. Perfect, I thought, tearing out the page on which to scribble my reply. Yes, I wrote, using my green ballpoint pen, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

27 May 2010

My Mistake

When a good friend and well loved member of my WI died at the age of 97 I was asked to write and read a tribute at the remembrance service. I was pleased to be given the opportunity and settled down to write. It took several days to prepare but at the end I was satisfied with what I’d said. The date and times of the funeral and remembrance service were entered in my diary as soon as I knew them and they were far enough away for me to rehearse.

But I nearly didn’t get the chance!

Because of a faulty light switch, my hall lamp was being switched off at the plug socket rather than the lamp itself. Unfortunately, this time the phone was switched off as well. At three o’clock the mistake was discovered when I went to make a call and found the phone was not connected. Casually I checked to see if there were any messages and, yes, there were. One in particular went like this.

‘Roy and I are going to the Crematorium now,’ said my colleague, who was to stand with me in the church to read a poem. ‘We’ll see you there. Okay?’

The call was timed at two hours earlier.

See me…. Where? She could only have meant the funeral which I had thought was three days hence!

Realisation rapidly set in.

The consequence of my incorrect diary entry was that I missed the funeral service at the crematorium and had ten minutes to wash, change, grab speech, and get over to the church, normally a three minute drive but which took longer that day because of road works. Wouldn’t you know!

I silently apologised to my deceased friend for the mistake.

Anyway I arrived at the church in time, was ushered to a seat, given a glass of water, and advised to remove jacket because of the heat. The service commenced a couple of minutes later. Three hymns, two tributes and a sermon later it was my turn. A lot of deep breathing paid off, I walked to the microphone, adjusted same, and launched into my homage to a wonderful lady.

My thoughts about that diary entry are varied but I feel sure I wrote the correct date given at the time. The entry date was 27th, the actual date was 24th, so close to my birthday on the 23rd as to be easily remembered.

18 May 2010

Coping Alone

Picture courtesy of Flower Society

Monday was always a dark day, except this Monday was extra dreary because it was the start of her second week of isolation. It was dark outside the open window; a gentle breeze stirred the flower-patterned curtains. A sound of breaking glass on the pavement outside reminded her that she had yet to leave the empty bottles for the milkman. Glancing at the bedside clock, she resisted the temptation to ignore the alarm that was due to go off. She’d been awake for over an hour thinking things through, reliving the time she said goodbye to Rick. Megan turned over, pulled the sheet over her head, giving in to a wave of self pity. Coping alone wasn’t wearing at all well.

The harsh sound of the alarm jolted her back to reality, malicious, uncaring. She slammed out of bed and banged the off button, hearing the relief of silence.

Breakfast consisted of coffee and a muesli bar; she hadn’t the stomach for anything else. The bacon and egg menu had gone out the door the minute Rick left. He could eat anything while she put on weight merely by looking at a piece of fried bread.

It was her day off. A magnanimous gesture on the part of her boss who begrudged paying overtime. Wouldn’t you like to have more time to yourself? Well, yes, under normal circumstances she would. But time off meant finding something to do and right now there was nothing to interest her.

Megan dressed in plum coloured trousers and a white shirt, suitable attire for lazing around. Sliding her feet into open toe sandals she wandered into the lounge, moved across to the computer. Idly fingering the utensil tray, she sank down into the huge black leather swivel chair, remembering, always remembering the happy times. She had been totally dependent on him, that was her trouble. Her life was wrapped up in him, there was no room for anything or anyone else.

Perhaps if she replaced the chair with one from the dining room her thoughts would move away from what she had always called love-ins. Those times when Rick would arrive home from work, dishevelled and tired, throw down his bag, gather her in his strong arms and whisper ‘Hi’ in her ear. Always he would fall into the computer chair and pull her onto his lap. Megan remembered how he kissed her even when he was tired, his lips always moist, his tongue always active. Even the memory produced the same fierce yearning she always had when pressed close to him; it was almost a relief when she heard the phone ringing in the next room.

More calls offering a free holiday, better investments, double glazing. Yesterday there was one telling her she had won a district competition, one she hadn’t entered or even heard of. Not for the first time Megan wished she had caller-display, at least then she would know who was
ringing. Answering was important though, just in case Rick rang. Oh if only he would! Realistically it was as well he didn’t if she wanted to remove inappropriately lustful thoughts from her mind.

There was nothing for it, she had to get out. Staying here alone was tantamount to taking a ride to insanity. Moving swiftly into the hall she dragged open the door under the stairs and grabbed her best shoes and black coat, quickly pulling her blonde curls over the collar. After a quick look in the big oval mirror to check she was respectable enough to go on an excursion, she picked up her handbag, checked to make sure her keys, credit cards and purse were in place, then snapped the bag shut and walked towards the front door. She’d done enough reminiscing; it was time to pull herself together.

RIDING the escalator in the big store Megan couldn’t help remembering the expeditions they’d made, when Rick insisted on selecting outfits for her to try. He had such impeccable taste. He would select the brightest coloured items he could find and insist on helping her try them on. Younger salesgirls would snigger but the matriarchal types would frown at such a thing.

Reaching the floor she wanted Megan stepped away from the escalator and headed straight for the lingerie department.

The array of peignoirs was unbelievably vast and Megan wished Rick was there to help her choose. But he wasn’t so she had to get on with the job. He always liked pink but she reckoned it was a colour to be avoided if she was to endure seclusion without reminders. A sob caught in her throat as visions of their parting caught up with her. Hastily she brushed a hand across her eyes, silently willing her tears not to fall. Not here, she chided herself, for heaven’s sake everyone would take you for a fool. Which was what she was really, being here proved it. She was here on a whim, wanting to recapture the unashamed essence that was all their own.

With almost defiant drive Megan grabbed a white gown, checked the size, and then more slowly selected one in black before turning her attention to the latest style of almost transparent booster bras.

‘Good morning, Madam,’ said the assistant, taking the items from her hand. ‘Would you like to try them on?’

Not trusting her voice Megan nodded in reply and followed the assistant to one of the curtained cubicles. The feelings inside her were mounting as she waited for the woman to leave her alone with her dreams but finally she was left in peace. Carefully she adjusted the curtain the way Rick always did.

The white peignoir did nothing for her, but the black fitted beautifully. It felt wonderful, so soft and caressing against her skin. It would look perfect over black underwear. She twisted to look at the back, noting the way it fell from the waste. Yes, it was definitely a must-have garment. If he was here he would love it even if it wasn’t his favourite colour.

‘Is everything all right, Madam?’

In a voice thick with emotion, Megan answered, ‘Yes, thanks, everything’s fine.’

THREE weeks went by slowly. Megan had managed to get through the long days. Naturally work had helped, there wasn’t much time for thinking with all the paperwork her boss gave her to do. Figure work wasn’t her forte and there was an unusual amount of it after the spring sales. She didn’t complain though, she’d much rather work in the back office than the store. Several times she visited her cousin Anne, and once or twice she went for a pizza with her closest friend Violet.

Vi had scolded her for being so glum, telling her there was life without Rick and forbidding her even to think about him while they were out. Vi was very down to earth, her attitude made Megan realise how low she had sunk in the sorrow stakes. She resolved not to wallow in self-pity anymore but privately wondered how long it would take really to cope with being alone.

It was while she and Vi were having coffee in Starbucks that Megan spotted a handwritten notice pinned on the horse chestnut tree. At first she was cross that someone had stuck pins on the bark, but she read it anyway when they left the coffee house. It was an appeal for volunteers. She nudged Vi to have a look. It seemed that volunteers were wanted for weekend work at a nearby, newly opened hospice shop but Vi said it would be too difficult to run a job and be a volunteer, especially as she hadn’t a clue what it entailed. She went on to say that she wouldn’t be caught working for nothing. Even so, Megan thought it might help to fill a few weekend hours. Ignoring Vi’s negative comments she hooked arms with her and guided her down the hill towards the shop.

THE Manageress was a kindly soul known as Em which Megan presumed must be short for Emily. She was quite chubby, comfortably dressed, and smelled of lavender. Megan wondered if it was perfume or the real thing that people put in drawers to make their clothes smell nice. Basically what Em wanted was a window dresser, someone who could display second-hand goods with a bit of a flair. Megan was delighted, it meant her artistic abilities could be put to good use. She decided to give it a go. Could she start straight away? Em said that would be perfect. She had outlined the job with such enthusiasm that Megan couldn’t wait to start.

The shop had been set up to raise funds for the hospice so that terminally sick children could have better care and facilities. It was a situation Megan found hard to contemplate. How on earth could children be so sick? She had never given any thought to how families coped with poorly youngsters and decided that her sheltered existence wasn’t such a good thing after all. Maybe her contribution at the shop would be of some help?

Vi, who up to that point had remained silent, suddenly asked if there was a place for a shop assistant. Considering her earlier remarks it came as a complete surprise. It seemed Megan wasn’t the only one to feel the sudden compassion. Em said she needed all the help she could get and Vi was duly taken on.

MEGAN loved the work so much she barely noticed how time was flying. Her evenings were still lonely but it wasn’t difficult now to pursue her resolution. She often found herself gazing at the swivel chair, recollecting the times she and Rick sat there lost in the wonder of each other. Although she was no longer obsessed, no longer feeling the pangs of loneliness, she still missed him.

It was Sunday evening. She felt satisfied after the day’s work at the charity shop. She had to admit that she had excelled herself with the window dressing that weekend. Along with a bag full of clothes, bed linen and some bric-a-brac, she had lugged her full sized dressmaker’s model to the shop on which to display clothes. Her first attempt to dress the dummy involved a blue silk two piece over which she draped a silver stole and added a silver evening bag. She knew it looked good when a guy in overalls gave it the thumbs up from the other side of the window.

Feeling happier with her lot than she had over recent weeks, she turned on the radio, made coffee, hauled the box of milk chocolates out of the cupboard and sprawled on the couch to listen to her favourite music programme.

See, Rick, I really am surviving on my own.’

Idly she switched the radio to another station and heard Linda Ronstadt singing THEIR song. ‘Somewhere Out There’ was half way through. Whereas once she would have pressed the off button, she now put her hands behind her head and soaked in the memories.

At the end, Megan stirred from the couch and sauntered across the room to the window seat. Her favourite spot. Watching the birds was a peaceful hobby although the only one in view at this hour was a robin. It flitted from branch to feeder for its last meal of the day. The tiny garden looked neat and welcoming. The fence Rick had so recently repaired and painted would one day be a backdrop for delphiniums. The late sun cast shadows across the single rhododendron that hugged the far wall, reminding her of the summer day when he counted the forget-me-nots on her sleeveless dress, using them to demonstrate his love for her. Forget-me-nots, he said, were symbols of his devotion.

It was such a calm evening that Megan decided to go out. Gathering up a light shoulder wrap she went out of the kitchen door, down the garden path, past the oak tree to the wooden gate at the end. Closing the gate behind her Megan set off towards the woods, wishing once more that she had a dog to keep her company. Rick hadn’t wanted a dog; he was adamant that it would be a hindrance to their social life.

She walked for an hour, listening to the evening sounds as she followed the dirt path through the trees, the flurry of leaves as birds settled down for the night, a rustle in the undergrowth caused by a darting animal, the crunch of twigs beneath her feet.

Feeling exhilarated after her fairly brisk walk, Megan retraced her steps to the garden, noticing as she did that in her haste she had forgotten to switch off the electric light in the kitchen. Reaching the front door she stooped to gather random shoots of clematis and tuck them in the white trellis. The estate agent said they were roses which, even though he was wrong, made her want the house even more; she’d always fancied living in a traditional country cottage with roses round the door. The agent obviously didn’t know the difference between roses and clematis but she didn’t mind, after all the blue flowers looked very pretty when they emerged after a long winter. As her key went in the lock, she pondered on their desire for a dream cottage, making love on a cosy hearthrug by an open fire.

Strange, she thought, as she pushed open the door. All the lights were on. Was her mind going or was she stricken with extreme forgetfulness? When she saw the suitcases in the hall her stomach flipped right over. She hurried in and saw him standing by the lounge door. ‘Hi,’ he said. ‘Fancy a game called getting to know you?’

LATER, as they lay in bed, Megan switched off the television, and the bedside lamp, and curled up beside him. ‘Three months was too long a time. A year married and a quarter of it apart, I didn’t think I would be able to bear it. ’

‘Were you lonely without me, my sweet?’

Lonely was exactly the right word, she thought, as he kissed her waiting lips. But she had survived. And thanks to the charity work she had finally grown up. She was now more inclined to thank her lucky stars and to appreciate all she had. She gazed at Rick’s handsome face, reached up to touch the growth of beard. She loved this man for all she was worth and what’s more he loved her. Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow she would wear the black peignoir. It was his birthday after all.

‘I missed you, honey,’ he said, his deep voice husky with passion. ‘I hope they never want me to work away again,’ he murmured, as he drew her body closer to his. ‘New Zealand is much too far away.’ And that said, he feasted again on her lips.


17 May 2010

Tipping the Scales

Tipping the Scales
Judy Rose

This morning when I weighed myself, I got an awful fright…
For the weight that came up on the dial was certainly not right.
I’ve really had it with these scales, they’re utterly misleading,
I slid them over to the bath to get a second reading.
Again the weight that registered was ridiculously high,
I moved them back towards the loo to have another try.
The pointer stubbornly remained just under ten stone three…
I raised one foot and then breathed in, but all quite fruitlessly.
My last hope was the carpet, so I moved to softer ground,
Just to suffer more frustration I’d gained another pound.
I’ll really have to face the fact these scales have had their day.
They simply can’t deliver me an honest, spot-on weigh.
A brand new, high-tech digital would really be the bizz,
I need top-notch equipment now that tells it like it is.
And passing by the mirror, I catch sight of my reflection,
It’s not a picture that inspires, a more in-depth inspection,
But I am not at all perturbed by the vision that appears,
That mirror distorts everything, it’s been like that for years

15 May 2010

No Hiding Place

(picture courtesy of Allied Fire and Security)

Burglars must be happy now that so-called security conscious inventors have simplified the search for valuables. In order to offload newfangled devices onto the purchasing public, creators assist the opportunist thief by advertising in mail order catalogues. No longer must the intruder search for spoils when time is of the essence. No, he can plan it in the sanctuary of his own home.

Skimming through the free brochures that are delivered to our door whether we want them or not (yes, folks, I read anything!) I have seen nifty letter racks illustrated in colour, with a visual description of how they work and an accompanying text which read like this: this practical letter rack is a safe storage place for money, jewellery, keys etc, the hidden secret compartment turns the rack into a safe, making life hard for thieves and crooks.’ Great, thinks the burglar, from the confines of his easy chair.

Other clever innovations are the pseudo books, magic boxes with hidden keys (lightweight and easy to shove in a pocket and/or bag), imitation baked bean tins or soup, depending on your fancy (all used by yours truly before free brochures were thought of), fake burglar alarms, a stone for the garden under which ‘you can hide your house key’ and a coat hanger with a hidden compartment, a cumbersome object that would stand out like a sore thumb amongst ordinary hangers.

I know intruders are on the lookout for rewarding booty, stuff that can be disposed of quickly so it’s terribly convenient for him to be offered details of new hiding paces for our possessions, the diamonds for example or the keys to the Merc. With these trivial items searched and out of the way he can concentrate his high speed activities on renewing the laptops, televisions and mobile phones.

Even if he doesn’t read the brochures I reckon he’s pretty clued up on what to look for, and where, but I pray nobody purchases one of these gadgets in the hope that they will save their valuables from falling into the wrong hands.

08 May 2010


Holding aloft the two glasses of Chateau Robert, Sonny Blake pushed through the crowd, nodding to colleagues as he sidestepped the potted palms. He was a popular figure at these thespian functions. Until the conclusion of Crisis, the hospital soap, he played the leading role which set budding actresses clamouring to take his arm; an irregular countenance and lopsided smile giving him that rugged appearance which was so in vogue with the younger set. His enforced retirement meant nothing to them. He was legendary; his position was influential.

As he pressed through the swarm of performers he flirted with the starlets, knowing his overtures would not be taken seriously. At fifty-nine his inclinations had subsided; only the memories remained.

Proceeding towards the Windsor Lounge Sonny was hailed by Susan Craig, an erstwhile star whose fortune was in decline. Over the months he had led her through the intricacies of everyday accounting, but Susan felt more comfortable spending money than saving it. Not having time to chat, Sonny inclined his head and nodded as if to say, Tomorrow, I'll call. Tomorrow, I will counsel you further. Susan gave him a dazzling smile. She understood his meaning. Taking a sip of wine, Sonny pinned on a jolly smile and carried on.

He spotted his friend, Peter Vaughan. 'Fine crowd tonight,' Sonny said, raising his voice above the hubbub. 'It's taken me a century to get these drinks through. Meryl will be wondering where I am.'

He started to move away, but Peter clutched his dinner jacket. 'Before you disappear I'd like a word.'

Sonny glanced towards the Windsor Lounge, imagining Meryl's frustration at having to wait so long, but the anxiety on his friend's face prompted him to enquire, a touch facetiously, 'Which word would that be, Peter?'

'You said you'd help with access to the kids.' Peter glared at a highly made-up woman who was endeavouring to get by. 'Weekends are dreadfully inconvenient but it seems I have no choice. Damned solicitor's taken Josie's side. Now, if you could collect them…'

'I will collect them, Peter, and I’ll take them to your flat on the understanding that I join you for lunch. I'll contact you tomorrow for instruction. Now I must get on. Meryl will be organizing a search party.'

As Sonny turned away, Peter remarked to his female companions that Sonny Blake was the very essence of compassion, an absolute rock of dependability. Who else would drop everything to drive twenty-five miles there and back to escort a colleague's brats.

Sonny paused at the doorway to search for Meryl. She would by now have forsaken the couch and joined a group most beneficial to her trade. He acknowledged a couple of agents, one of whom had sought his advice about his ailing mother. Sonny had recommended the relevant organisation. An intelligent suggestion, held the agent. One obvious to a five year old, deemed Sonny.

Meryl's piping voice emanated from the vicinity of the fireplace. Sonny moved in that direction. One of her routines was in full flow, the one he had taken such pains to perfect; hours of instilling into her that to successfully impersonate Joan Rivers she must remember to use the proper accent.

Standing at the boundary of Meryl's audience Sonny signalled his presence, lifting the wineglass for her to see. However, Meryl was absorbed in entertaining the crowd, using the grey marble fireplace and a damson-coloured chaise-longue as backdrop. Sonny watched and gloried in the fact that her performance was outstanding.

At the end, amidst well-deserved cheers, one beefy American roared his intention to engage her for his next revue. Smiling triumphantly, Meryl ran to Sonny and kissed his cheek. He handed her the drink and put his empty glass on a small onyx table. 'It worked,' she said. 'Your badgering worked.' She hugged him. 'Where would I be without you.'

At midnight, after installing Meryl in a taxi, Sonny headed home, tugging his collar round his neck, battling against the rain. His black shoes squeaked as they always did when wet. His blue-black hair was soaked. He regretted not having brought a hat but who expected to see such a deluge after all that heat. A car drove by, splashing water on his trousers.

Reaching his basement home, once a high class Victorian dwelling, he gripped the iron handrail and began to descend, treading carefully on the slippery steps. One by one the street lights were extinguished. Raucous laughter emerged from distant revellers. A clock struck the quarter-hour, its clarity dulled by the rain. A cat meowed nearby. He fished in his pocket for the key, shaking away the drips from a leaking gutter.

The door swung open. Sonny knocked the light switch with his shoulder and the bed-sit was flooded with harsh light. Nine months he had lived there and still the bulb was naked. The tiny sink was cluttered with soiled crocks. The blue plastic curtain which hid the pipes was torn where once he grabbed it to break a fall. On the opposite wall was his unmade bed. Each night he vowed that next morning he would straighten the sheets, but he was prevented by apathy from attending to domestic tasks. Little point when the only spectator was him.

Taking the bottle of Gordon's from the shelf alongside the sink, Sonny filled a Horlicks mug. Thinking again of his dead fiancé, killed through his own neglect, a little thing like failing to spot the faulty brakes on his car. He felt despondency setting in, once again acknowledging that without his beloved Gloria his life was worth nothing.

Accidental death; accidentally caused by him.

This evening had been like slow torture and he knew he couldn't go on much longer pandering to the whims of others, aiding and advising, supporting and succouring, getting nothing in return. Good old, reliable Sonny. Rock of dependability. If only dependability could pay the rent or reliability settle bills. Advising Susan on budgeting had been easy but for him the road ahead was littered with court orders and final demands. And he still had legal costs to meet.

A profound sigh ripped through his lips. His temples throbbed, a common occurrence after consuming red wine. He refilled the mug with gin, drank from the chip-free side. If nothing else it would ease the pain.

04 May 2010


Picture sorting
Memories thrive
Times when courting
Happy … alive

Happy couple
Hand in hand
Wading in
The sea and sand

Sunrays, sunshine
Carefree fun
Crowded beach
Tan overdone

Sunscreen reminder
Paid no heed
Soreness, sorrow
Regretful deed

Specialist implored
'Heed my advice'
He was ignored
Yet he said it twice

Picture sorting
Memories thrive
Times when courting
Happy … alive

01 May 2010

The Wanderer Returns

Yes, after five weeks, two more than expected because of Iceland's volcanic eruption, the wanderer has returned. He didn't come empty handed either, bringing a quantity of souvenirs which I thought I would share with you.

First, let's have a cuppa!

Bringing a boomerang was a good idea, you never know when the opportunity to use it may arise

I don't know anyone who has a gold prospecting dish in their house, let alone bottled gold

Beautiful Kangaroo and baby

Tea mug with picture of Laughing Kookaburra

Five fridge magnets

Model of the famous Puffing Billy

And a gift from Emirates to make the journey more comfortable

I also have the lady's bag but Blogger didn't want me to show it. It's pale ecru and contains a variety of toiletries by BVLGARI ... nourishing handcream and face cream, perfume, and a refreshing towel ... plus a leather covered mirror, toothpaste, folding toothbrush, hairbrush and comb. As you can see the passengers got suede eyeshades and a pair of comfortable socks.